Glacier width in FreeSurfaceSolver

Extension of Elmer in computational glaciology
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Glacier width in FreeSurfaceSolver

Post by vanGeffen » 04 Jun 2015, 12:08


I have a question: is there an easy way to account for the glacier width W(x) in the FreeSurfaceSolver when running a flow-line model? I want to determine the free surface following the equation for the ice thickness as depicted in the attachment.


ChangeIceThickness.png (24.96 KiB) Viewed 2744 times
with H the ice thickness, u the depth-averaged horizontal velocity, W the glacier width and b the surface mass balance

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Re: Glacier width in FreeSurfaceSolver

Post by joeatodd » 09 Jun 2015, 15:58

Hi Sharon,

It's possible to do this as an accumulation term in the freesurface equation, but I think that it's more accurate to directly account for the addition of mass in the stokes equations.

I wrote some code to do this in a flowline case by adding a "Pressure Load" following Peter's advice in this thread:


The plan is for this code to make its way into the elmer/ice repository before too long. If you like I can pass it on to you for the time being, but it comes without any warranty ;)


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